My youngest son has wanted his very own Nintendo 3DS for a long time, so that he could play with his older brothers. After saving his money, after his sixth birthday, he finally had enough to buy his own. He was so proud to be able to buy it and so happy to be able to play Pokémon with his brothers; and I was proud of him for saving his money to be able to get it himself.
Unfortunately, maybe three months later, it went missing. My wife would ask my son if he wanted to bring his Nintendo on trips where he had to go but might otherwise be just sitting around, and he kept saying he didn't want to, that he just left it plugged in and charging. But after a couple weeks of this, he said he couldn't find it. (Whether he knew it was gone for those two weeks or not, we have no way of knowing.) We tried to backtrack to when it was last seen. There were a couple places he had taken it, but we were reasonably sure it had come home afterwards. We did call and revisit those places to be certain, and no one had seen it. We believe it was brought home and plugged into its charger in the family room. Then, one of his brothers had some friends over for a birthday party.
We have talked to the parents of the kids who were over, to see if their kids remembered seeing it and where it might have been moved to -- or, yes, if perhaps they happened to come home with something that wasn't theirs. So far, though, there has been no report.
It's been almost three months since then, and I'm actually pretty upset about it. He even got a new game for Christmas that he's never even had a chance to play. If it was in the house, I would have hoped that it would have turned up by now. Today, thinking about it, I got very frustrated on my son's behalf and turned the family room upside-down looking for it. It is, granted, not the first time that room has been searched, with the same results.
I have no way of knowing if someone did end up taking it. I would hope that parents would be observant and notice if their child had a pretty expensive video game system they didn't have before. But I'm not so sure. Last year, my wife was in charge of the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, and she took a couple of my older sons' old cars (including one that one of my boys won 2nd place in the district with, something he was pretty proud of) as test cars. They were swiped at that event, and despite sending announcements to the parents and mentioning it at the following pack meeting, they have never been returned.
I don't know for sure where it is. It could've been misplaced in the house somewhere. My son could've taken it with him somewhere and lost it. It could've been stolen. There's no way to know. And while he seems to have let it go (he doesn't talk about it, even when all of his brothers are playing around him), it still makes me very upset for him. He set a goal for himself, he saved up his money, and he purchased his very own thing, and now, he doesn't get to have it.